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Thread: Scenario : Balrog Takes Ring

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Hi, I have been reading this forum for some time , but I didn't make an account until now. I am a big fan of the LOTR universe, I read the trilogy, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and the Lost Tales of Numenor. My question for you is this ( I have been bothered by this for a while ) :

What would of happened if the Balrog ( Durin's Bane ) of Moria had defeated the Fellowship and took the Ring of Power from Frodo ?

-Could he control the power of the ring and become the most powerful being in Middle Earth ? Would Sauron then wage war on him and for the first time in history we would have 2 evil lords waging war against one another ? In this case it would seem wise to just give the ring to the Balrog , let the 2 factions kill eachother and the forces of good come and anihilate them both at the end - again , fictional scenario

- He couldn't control the ring, and thus try to destroy it in the fires of the deep ?

- He couldn't control the ring and gives it back to Sauron ( unlikely in my opinion since the Balrog doesn't seem to follow Sauron, he was a servant of Melkor and not of Sauron - a maiar like himself) Could giving the ring to the Balrog actually be a viable strategy in the long run ?

I wait for your opinions since this problem has bothered me for a while Big Smile Smilie

I think that Durins bane would take the ring for himself and become strong, stronger than anybody else in middle earth in the third age. he would go to mordor and sauron would decieve him into thinking he wanted to be his servant, then sauron would become "counselor" and eventually use the balrog to destroy his enemies. after he did that he would steal the ring back and become the godlike ruler of middle earth.

That's a very good point. Sauron used that tactic with Ar-Pharazon and it worked perfectly.

Maybe the Balrog won't be so forgiving and easy to sway as a human.

i supose if Durin's Bane managed to get hold of The One Ring he or she would have become an extremely powerful Maia. Things could have turned out pretty differently if this had indeed happened.

I shudder at the thought.

Indeed Durin's bane would become powerful. Sauron would go into hiding or become his "servant" waiting for the ring to do its job. At the end, the balrog will become a servant of Sauron. There is only one lord of the rings, and he does not share power.

The balrog would have the ring, and Sauron would not be able to sway him as easily as he swayed the kings of numenor, but if he had the ring then that would be enough motivation to stay with Sauron. I think one possibility we have not talked about is the possibility that the balrog notices that Sauron will backstab him cleverly and kills him as soon as he gets the ring. So if the balrog had the ring do you think he would be able to defeat Sauron in barad-dur?

I think the Balrog would prevail as,he could control all remaining Dark forces on ME if he showed himself, especially with Sauron's ring which contained a huge amount of the power lent to him by The First Dark Lord, Melkor himself.

Sauron can't be destroy unless destroying the ring itself. I think the ring can corrupt the balrog. Even Gandalf didn't want the ring in fear of being corrupted himself.

Hmmm...this is an interesting 'what if' scenario, one i admit I've never considered.

I have no doubt that the Durins Bane would become more powerful than the most/any Maia dwelling on Middle-Earth. The possibility that Sauron could trick Durins Bane the way he did the kings of Numenor i think could be a possibility, after all the ring would grant him power but that might not necessarily mean it would grant Durins Bane the necessary intellect to overcome Sauron's 'charms' 

Further it could be seen that although Durins Bane has had a might power increse, would that be enough for him/she/it to marshal/rally enough follows so to begin conquest of middle Earth. Perhaps the legions of accursed/dammed/unclean/corrupted that were under Sauron would be enough to overcome the might of Durins Bane. Think of it like this...toe to toe there were hardly any people on the 'good' side (save for people like Galadriel) who could possibly match Sauron in power, nevertheless the combination/culmination of forces of good helped to overthrow him. Could a collectively greater evil defeat a singularly powerful evil....i think it could.

Any thoughts?????

p.s - second topic since i joined yesterday...loving the ideas and seeing how others see J.R.R's crestion


Well looking at the full picture here, one must ask if Durin's Bane would even know what the ring of power is. He escaped into Moria before the second age and so would have never heard of the rings of power. So, SHOULD the fellowship have been defeated, and assuming he checked their bodies, it's very possible he would've done nothing with it. Tossed it aside. Maybe he disposed of the corpses by throwing them down the same pit he fell into without closely examining them. This seems a bit more likely to me than him taking the ring and using it. Also I wouldn't say he didn't "help" Sauron, I just highly doubt he even knew what was going on. He wasn't king of the mountain or anything, with lots of servants to do his bidding. He was in hiding, buried as deep in the earth as the mountain would allow. Even the orcs didn't want anything to do with him. I do not doubt for a second that if Sauron knew where he was, he would have approached him for help, and more likely than not DB would've agreed. Obviously there'd be some arrangement, he rules the north, Saruman the south west, and Sauron the east. Something like that.

Of course the catch here is the ring of power has a will of its own. So we must ask would it have some way to "urge" DB to take the ring, or put it on or look at it or whatever. Certainly not impossible. On the other hand, if anyone's power was comparable to Sauron, it would've been a balrog (though Sauron would still be more powerful). So I don't think his will would bend as easily as a mortal man or elf.

Another scenario is a possible connection between two dark maia. What if DB did put the ring on and was able to "alert" Sauron of his presence. Upon Sauron finding him, they (they probably meaning the witch king as ambassador) would make a compromise that the balrog would get lots of power if he returned the ring and helped Sauron defeat the powers of the west.

I don't think it likely a balrog wouldn't be willing to help Sauron. I truly believe that had Sauron known of his existence, he would make any attempt to get him on his side. We have no record of Sauron even wanting the help of a balrog, much less trying to find him, so I would assume he doesn't even know it's an option. Now I don't think a dragon would help him unless LOTS of money and jewels were involved, but a balrog would do it just to cause fire and destruction. Balrogs are genuinely evil, dragons are just greedy bastards.

So thats my take. I don't think he'd know what the ring was. If he did decide to keep it, I don't believe it would wear him down like a mortal man, at least not for a long, long, long, long time, but more likely communicate through him to bring Sauron in. Honestly it seems more likely an orc would find it before the balrog. Once the fellowship was done, DB would go back into hiding. He's not interested in loot....

Everything you guys said is very interesting.

I want to add to the last point made : I disagree that the Balrog didn't know ( more likely instinctively feel) about the Ring(s) ( remember that Gandalf also had the ring of fire on him ). He wouldn't awake from his sleep if he didn't feel something special entering his domain.


I don't recall exactly, but Balin and the other dwarves that tried to take back Moria didn't encounter the Balrog directly, he only sent his minions to do the job for him because there was nothing special about those dwarves. In the case of the Fellowship he awoke from his sleep to fight them personally. I do believe that he was sensing something very powerful that needed his atention. Maybe it was the presence of Gandalf ( Olorin ) , another maia spirit, but I suspect it was  the 2 rings of power - this is my speculation.

Hm, I don't recall anything that says Durin's Bane sent out any minions. I don't think he even had minions, since all the orcs scattered when he approached. And it was actually the dwarves who woke him up and he did make himself known when he ran them out for the first time. In fact thats where his name comes from, since nobody knows anything about him other than he was a balrog and he killed King Durin. Hence, Durin's bane. And that was in the third age, so he was already awake when the fellowship entered. Then when he heard all the commotion from the goblins/fellowship, he probably had to look for himself.

I don't doubt he might have had a sense that something....unusual was near. But there's no way he could've known about the rings of power, thus telling himself he could sense Narya. He was in complete isolation for thousands of years, his power was probably less than half of what it used to be. Kinda like me when I first wake up in the morning! So maybe he perked his ears up, but he didn't know what he heard.

I just read the LOTR wiki about Durin's bane. It seems that the orcs that were in Moria had actually made an alliance with the Balrog, but they feared him greatly, that's why they fled each time he was around them. It is not clear if Sauron knew about him.

He didn't show himself personally to kill Balin and his crew, the orcs and the trolls did that , probably at his command. He also didn't get involved in the Battle of Azanulbizar against the dwarves.

That's what makes me believe that he had a special interest in the Fellowship, otherwise he would of left the orcs to finish them without his involvement. It is also possible that he had limited information about Sauron from the orcs. Even if he didn't get out much he still had servants that were previously allied with Sauron and knew about his plans of world domination.

As far as knowing about the rings of power, it is highly unlikely, but not impossible. He may be hiding for a long time, but it is uncharacteristic of evil villans to sit back and do nothing.

Just my opinion, you could be 100% correct, I don't deny that posibility.

Just as expansion...

We've all commented on the fact that Durins Bane might not have been able to sense the ring or that even if he did it would be more like an intuitive feeling of something foreign to him and that he wouldn't know what exactly it was 


We know that Balrogs are Maia (corrupted by Morgoth nonetheless), of which, some sources say are comparable to Sauron. So i guess my expansion is what if DB got hold of the ring but didn't know exactly what it was but knew it was a 'thing of power' and could use it to his advantage, what would his next move be? take out the competition, namely Sauron? Head for the good guys (elves, men etc) Maybe ally with Sauron?

Once he got the rings on his fingers he would know what they did and how they worked. Even the hobbits( Sam and Frodo) knew the ring offered power once they used it.

The nature of the Balrog is to destroy , he isn't a creative spirit like Sauron. Sauron was a disciple of Aule in Valinor , before he got corrupted by Melkor, so he is a builder, not a warrior or destroyer. That's why we see that he created all that technology in Mordor and his orcs are good at crafting weapons and war devices. He even created most of the rings of power.

Balrogs are vicious warrior spirits of destruction. They were always with Melkor , even when the music was made, before the creation of Arda.  Melkor used them as his private bodyguards ( see the incident with Ungoliant ) and captains of his troops. So , I deduce that they are good only for fighting , not building or creating. My personal belief is that Durin's Bane would become even a more vicious spirit after he put on the ring and may go on a rampage, because the One Ring exacerbates one's strenghts and powers. The ring of fire that Gandalf has on him also would work in a similar way on him.  I think the Balrog would go insane once he got under the influence of the rings and start destroying everything in his path, Only Galadriel and Elrond would be able to stop such a foe in combat.

This is why I see the victory of Gandalf as a very important achievement. The threat of a Balrog in the 3rd age was too much for the races of middle earth to handle, much like the rise of Sauron. 

Good job Gandalf !

There is two other elves in 3rd age middle earth that I think can possibly beat the balrog. That would be Cirdon and Glorfindel.

I am sure they could if they had a ring of power on their finger. Cirdan gave his ring to Gandalf from what I remember.

Also, all the elves that were in Valinor and came back to Middle Earth with the Noldor , have greater power than the normal elves. Glrofindel is from those elves and from what Gandalf says , he is very powerful. When Elrond offered to send Glorfindel with the Fellowship, Gandalf refused, saying that an elf of that power will trigger Sauron's attention once they were getting close to Mordor.  He is not the Glorfindel from Gondolin, even though Tolkien wanted initially to make the story that way.

Actually Glorfindel of Gondolin is Glorfindel of Rivendell. Tolkien decided so in two late texts published in Last Writings, The Peoples Of Middle-Earth.

It's in my contract to post about Glorfindel whenever I realize someone has mentioned this golden paragon.

Wink Smilie

WOW ! That is bombshel information. From what I read it was clear that Tolkien made the distinction between the 2, but I do trust you 100%.

Thank you very much for this !

Fantastic input everyone.

Ill add that Tolkien also states that the Orcs hate but fear Sauron as much as they do anyone else, but I guess they respect their master through fear and the knowledge of what he will do to them if they do not obey....

Glorfindel was sent back to middle earth with somewhat "special" powers. His mission was to aid the fight against the enemy, similar to the wizards. As for Cirdan he was blessed by the valar for/as a result of staying in middle earth helping others making the journey west.

No problem Valandil. And thanks for the trust too. I realize you weren't asking, but for my own fun and maybe for other readers who might need or want a quote or two: with the publication of The Return of the Shadow in 1988, Christopher Tolkien spilled the beans. With respect to a draft text for The Lord of the Rings, he explained:

'Also very notable is 'Glorfindel tells of his ancestry in Gondolin'. Years later, long after the publication of The Lord of the Rings, my father gave a great deal of thought to the matter of Glorfindel (...) He came to the conclusion that Glorfindel of Gondolin, who fell to his death in combat with a Balrog after the sack of the city (II. 192-4, IV. 145), and Glorfindel of Rivendell were one and the same: he was released from Mandos and returned to Middle-earth in the Second Age.'

I cut out a part of that quote where CJRT notes that his father also said that the name 'escaped reconsideration' into the final, published form of The Lord of the Rings.

In any case the name was published in The Lord of the Rings of course; and the story goes as Christopher Tolkien briefly describes here. CJRT published the actual texts later too.

I don't know why some websites seemingly have a problem with these two Glorfindel texts never being published by JRRT himself. Generally speaking at least, the same goes for The Silmarillion, where one finds out about Glorfindel of Gondolin in the first place.

Anyway, my two more cents on that side topic Smile Smilie

@Galin, that's more than 2 cents, it's something like 2 million dollars to a dedicated fan like myself.

I guess that the main reason many people don't believe the 2 Glorfindels are the same person is because it is too good to be true. Tolkien doesn't give Glorfindel the attention he deserves in the LOTR trilogy, he is mentioned episodically , even though he is one of the greatest heroes in the Silmarillion.

In my opinion Glorfindel did a lot more that Galadriel to deserve a reputation.

Galadriel's liniage does help with her reputation. Although she did do a lot to help the free people of ME, to me she is more of a plotter/planner.

Lets not compare Glordindal and Galadriel. They both helped shape the success of the light of M.E  In my mind they are equal.  Middle earth would not be in the state in which we know it without either of them.

My two cents, the two Glorfindal's are the same Elf.... Returned by Eru to complete his errand.

Who know's why. But I find it difficult to believe that Tolkien used the same very important name twice in his great tales without reason....

Late in life Tolkien noted that his re-use of the name Glorfindel (a name borrowed from his own earlier work, as was Legolas for another example) was 'somewhat random'.

'Its use in The Lord of the Rings is one of the cases of the somewhat random use of the names found in the older legends, now referred to as The Silmarillion, which escaped reconsideration in the final published form of The Lord of the Rings. This is unfortunate, since the name is now difficult to fit into Sindarin, and cannot possibly be Quenyarin. (...)'

JRRT, early 1970s, possibly 1972-73, The Peoples of Middle-Earth

His words despite having once mused, at least at one point in 1938, about the possibility of having Glorfindel 'tell of his ancestry in Gondolin' within The Lord of the Rings itself.

It was more than 30 years later that Tolkien certainly decided that the repetition of the 'striking' name Glorfindel would not be credible (his more specific reasoning seems given in Glorfindel text II according to Christopher Tolkien).  

Glorfindel had been invented in a language called Gnomish [a tongue ultimately abandoned by JRRT) not Sindarin, but Tolkien seemingly characterized Glorfindel as archaic in the new scenario.

If a Balrog took the Ring,just picture the desolation of Morannon,The Balrog would slay Sauron since he was not his master.Then The Balrog would destroy the world